Photography News and Archive
Current News             Issue Archive             Article Archive E-Photo Newsletter   Issue 172   5/22/2010

Barcelona Auction House to Sell Work of Two Photojournalism Giants: Cartier-Bresson and Agustí Centelles

Soler y Llach will auction the work of two pioneers of modern photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Agustí Centelles, on May 27 at its headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. You can bid and/or request a printed catalog by emailing syl@soleryllach.com , or visit the online catalog at: http://www.soleryllach.com/soler4/proximas .

The first session, which starts at 5 pm will focus on Henri Cartier-Bresson, his photographs, correspondence and photo books from the Josep Martínez Collection.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is considered one of the pioneers of modern photojournalism. In 1952 he published his book " "Images à la Sauvette" (The Decisive Moment) in which he outlined a particular way for a photographer to approach reality that caused quite a stir at the time and highly influenced several generations of photojournalists.

This part of the auction consists of 174 lots of some of his most representative images, including "Derriere la Gare Saint-Lazare" (1932), "Rue Mouffetard" (1954), "Au bord de la Marne" (1938), and photo books, such as "Images à la Sauvette" (1955), "Les Européene" (1955), and the journal "Crapouillot" in which he was published in its first issue in 1933. This auction also includes almost all the books Cartier-Bresson was included in, with the added value of being dedicated by the photographer to the collector Josep Martínez. The correspondence between the collector and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Frank and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris is also offered for sale. Estimates on the photographs themselves range from 1000 to 3000 €.

The second session, which will start at approximately 6:30 pm, will feature the photographs of Agustí Centelles, from 1934 to 1939.

Agustí Centelles (1909-1985) is one of the founders of modern photojournalism in Spain, and one of the most important war photographers of the first half of the 20th century. His interest in film and instant photography led him to buy a Leica and practice a more contemporary style of photography, where he often took photographs that would become part of what became known as The New Vision. His particular images were dynamic and different from the photographs of most of his colleagues, who made a more static type of image.

Centelles' photographs were published in major national magazines and in the foreign press, and he was one of the first photographers to hit the streets to document the fascist uprising that occurred on July 19, 1936 in Barcelona. During the Civil War he worked as a photographer for the Comissariat de Propaganda de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Agustí Centelles made some of the most important photographs of the war, with many of his photographs becoming part of the iconic imagery of this period.

This catalog starts with a series of photographs taken at his very beginning as a photojournalist. There is also a set of photographs of the report he made about the events of 6 October 1934, although the majority of photographs in the set were made during the Spanish Civil War. Estimates of the photographs range from 1000 to 3000 €.

Villa Grisebach Has 180 Photo Lots At Auction in Berlin (and Online) On June 3

Villa Grisebach's spring auction of Rarities of Modern Photography and Contemporary Photography is scheduled for June 3 at 3 pm in Berlin with over 180 lots for sale.

Lotte Jacobi's Head of a Dancer (1929) is one of modern photography's most iconic images and is presented in the auction in a unusually large print from the 1970s (estimate of 22,000-25,000 EUR). Yet another rare photograph is the humorous snapshot by the Bauhaus artist Josef Albers depicting the musician Bruno Canaresi and the actress Schifra in Ascona. This image is one of only three known vintage prints from the 1930s (estimate of 10,000-12,000 EUR).

A further highlight is Erwin Blumenfeld's self-portrait entitled Masque, which was produced between 1958-1961 (estimate of 9,000-11,000 EUR). Previously in the collection of Elsa Combe-Martin, a close friend of Juliet Man Ray, a group of private photographs of Man Ray is being auctioned in thematic groups of images, as well as in single images such as Double Self-Portrait (estimate of 5,000-7,000 EUR) and Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp Playing Chess (estimate of 3,000-5,000 EUR).

Other remarkable highlights in Villa Grisebach's modern photography section include László Moholy-Nagy's Superimposition II, a composition with photogram from 1939 (estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 EUR), as well as works by Ansel Adams, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Andreas Feininger, F. C. Gundlach, Horst P. Horst, Frank Horvat, Seydou Keïta, Josef Koudelka, Helen Levitt, Alexander Rodchenko, Julius Shulman, Garry Winogrand, and others.

Perhaps the top lots in Villa Grisebach's Contemporary photography section are Thomas Struth's People on Fuxing Dong Lu, Shanghai (estimate of 18,000-24,000 EUR), followed by Bettina Rheims' famous and controversially discussed portfolio entitled I.N.R.I. (estimate of 15,000-18,000 EUR), and Axel Hütte's large-format image Waardenburg (estimate of 10,000-15,000 EUR). Contemporary images by Nobuyoshi Araki, Guido Argentini, Roger Ballen, Vanessa Beecroft, Andreas Gursky, Eikoh Hosoe, Tiina Itkonen, Steve McCurry, Thomas Ruff, Sebastião Salgado and Miroslav Tichy will be up for auction here.

You can preview the Photography and other Spring Sales in Berlin, May 29-June 2 at Villa Grisebach, Fasanenstraße 25, 28 and 73. Hours are Saturday-Tuesday, 10 am-6:30 pm, and Wednesday, 10 am-5 pm. The auction itself is scheduled for Thursday, June 3 at 3 pm.

For more information go to http://www.villa-grisebach.de/en/ , or contact Franziska Schmidt (head of the photography department), phone: +1-49-30-885 915-27; fax: +49 30-885915-4627 (from the U.S. dial 011 then the number); or email: f.schmidt@villa-grisebach.de . The auction catalogue is available online at https://www.villa-grisebach.de/en/catalogues/listview/katalog_uid/172/ .

Mapplethorpe, Penn, Avedon and Leibovitz Highlight Dallas Art Photography Auction

Robert Mapplethorpe's delicate, lilting 1984 silver print, Calla Lily, is expected to bring between $30,000-$40,000 as one of the principal highlights of select offerings from 20th-century giants of photography in Heritage Auctions June 9th Signature® Fine Art Photography Auction, taking place at the company's Dallas Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street, Dallas, TX.

Irving Penn is widely regarded as one of America's most-brilliant and influential post-War photographers. A pair of photographs in this auction vividly displays his genius with a variety of subjects as well as his mastery of both color photography and black and white. Featured on the cover of the auction catalogue, his Three Tulips: Red Shine, Black Parrot, Gudoshnik, NY, 1967 dye-transfer, 1987, is estimated at $25,000-$35,000, while his evocative 1947 Gelatin silver print, Still Life (with mouse), is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

One of the most intriguing, enigmatic and compelling photographs in the auction, and one that is sure to capture the attention of bidders, is Richard Avedon's virtuosic portrait, John Harrison, lumber salesman and his daughter Melissa, Lewisville, TX, (from "In the American West"), November 11, 1981, in which Avedon presents his subject with compassion, humor and amazing intensity. It is estimated at $25,000-$35,000, and is featured on the back cover of the catalogue.

There are few American photographs more famous than Alfred Eisenstaedt's V.J. Day, Times Square, New York City, 1945 (printed later), with the iconic image of a newly-returned sailor kissing a USO nurse, and a gelatin silver print of that celebrated image (estimate: $12,000-$15,000) anchors a grouping of six printed-later Eisenstaedt photographs in the auction, including Marilyn Monroe, 1953 (estimate: $7,000-$10,000), Ice Skating Waiter, St. Moritz, 1932 (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000) and Portrait of Marilyn Monroe, 1953 (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000).

Two stunning portraits by masters of the form also bear significant mention: Yousuf Karsh's doleful and revealing 1948 (printed later) silver print of Albert Einstein is estimated to bring between $7,000-$9,000, while Annie Leibovitz's Robert Redford, Malibu, CA 1980, captures the famed movie star in a blue-framed moment of repose in Los Angeles, while at the same time showing the touch that has made Leibovitz one of the most famous photographers of contemporary America. It is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

Several groups of photographs by Helmut Newton, Michael Kenna, Horace Bristol, Paul Horst, Philippe Halsman, Bert Stern, Jacques Lowe, Garry Winogrand, George Hurrell, Hank O'Neal, and Harry Callahan in the sale should spark interest among their devotees.

There are also some key early images in the sale, including a fine Julia M. Cameron portrait of Poet Lauriat Alfred Tennyson, a nice Eugene Atget printing-out paper print of Rue de la Reynie, and a very good albumen print of Timothy H. O'Sullivan's Civil War masterwork, The Halt.

For information on and a catalogue of the June Signature Fine Art Photography Auction #5037, contact Heritage Auction Galleries, Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street, Dallas, TX; Ed Jaster at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1288; email: EdJ@HA.com ; or Kelly Jones at 1-800-872-6467 ext. 1166. Online bidding is open from 5/12-6/8, until 10 pm. You can physically preview the auction on June 5, Saturday, from noon-5 pm (CT) and June 7-8, Monday-Tuesday from 10 am-5 pm at the company's location. The auction itself will be held on Wednesday, June 9 at 3 pm (CT). You can view the online catalogue and bid online at:

http://fineart.ha.com/common/auction/catalog.php?SaleNo=5037&type=C1A2-newsletter042210 .

Belgium Auction House Pierre Berge Holds Major Photo Auction On June 16

Pierre Bergé & associés of Brussels, Belgium will hold an auction of 251 lots of 19th, 20th and 21st-century photography at 40 Place du Grand Sablon, Brussels at 6 pm, Wednesday, June 16. The public preview will be held June 14-15, Monday-Tuesday from 10 am-6:30 pm; and June16, Wednesday from 10 am-5 pm.

The first part of the auction offers work by some important 19th-century photographers, including the Bisson Frères (architecture), Edouard Baldus, (architecture), Auguste Salzmann (salt prints of Jerusalem), Adolphe Braun (flowers), Félix-Jacques Moulin (an important albumenized salt print of a reclining nude), Nadar (man and cow), Auguste Vacquerie (salt print portrait of Victor Hugo). There are also several albums with photographs of Indian palaces to the streets of Beijing to scenes in Vietnam, as well as images of African villages, and even images of Brussels and Antwerp.

The 20th century is well represented by a number of photographers from the "humanist school", including Doisneau, Ronis, Cartier-Bresson, Kertesz, Brassai, Jahan, Herschtritt, Erwitt, and others.

Willy Ronis is represented in the sale through a major set of 33 works. The immense talent of this photographer, who just died in September 2009 at the age of 99, is currently on exposition in Paris ("Willy Ronis, the Poetry of Engagement" by the Monnaie de Paris in association with the Musée du Jeu de Paume).

Twentieth-century fashion photographers include Horst, Horvat and Blumenfeld.

Many contemporary artists, such as Candida Höfer and Karen Knorr, Beat Struller, Rancinan Gerard and Atiq Rahimi are well represented in auction.

The auction catalogue shows a remarkable portrait gallery of key personalities of the arts, literature and films, who are photographed in the act of creation, in a moment of intimacy, or in total delirium (like Victor Hugo, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray, Le Corbusier, Mark Chagall, Andre Breton, Marilyn Monroe, Ray Charles, Kirk Douglas, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Cocteau, Françoise Sagan, James Dean, Francis Bacon, Che Guevara, and others).

Photographers with edgy images that have been both reviled and applauded in their time are well represented in this auction including the work of Man Ray, Irina Ionesco, Joel-Peter Wikin, Jan Saudek, Araki, Jock Sturges, Gerald-Petrus Fieret and Marcel Marien.

The contact for this sale is Grégoire Debuire, who can be reached at: +32 (0) 2 504 80 37; email: gdebuire@pba-auctions.com . Pierre Bergé & associés--Bruxelles is located at 40 place du Grand Sablon, 1000 Bruxelles; phone: +32 (0)2 504 80 30; fax: +32 (0)2 513 21 65. The catalogue can either be ordered directly through the auction house or can be seen online at: http://www.pba-auctions.com/html/index.jsp?id=6401 .

Books From Lodima Press and Rijskmuseum

By Matt Damsker



Numbers 7 and 8, respectively, of a 19-volume series, "The Portfolios of Brett Weston." Lodima Press, Revere, Pennsylvania. Limited editions: 250 hardbound, 1000 softbound; black-and-white plates, all from the collection of Scott F. Nichols and the Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Information and full details about the books can be found at http://www.lodimapress.com .

These latest in the extensive Lodima Press series of Brett Weston's work are, like the first half-dozen books, superb reproductions of the original portfolios, fully sized and delivered on rich Salto stock. They chronicle Weston's output between 1970 and 1973, when his sojourns through Europe and Japan resulted not in ethnographic studies, so much as near-abstractions. These images suggest their locales rather fleetingly as they explore, instead, some visual essence worthy of crowding Weston's frame. And that frame is often a square frame, the most challenging shape with which to direct the eye, something Weston succeeds in doing through his rigorous, painterly composition.

As Roger Aiken notes in his afterword to the Japan portfolio, it was Beaumont Newhall, the pioneer of American photographic history, who recalled that Weston once spent several days in London before photographing anything but some rust on London Bridge. Adds Aiken: "[Newhall observed that] Weston's photographs could be made anywhere because he tended to work with the same subjects. But, in fact, most of Weston's portfolios…witness his response to the visual flavor of particular places."

Thus, the Japan photos close in, masterfully, on such subjects as a swirl of inky calligraphy on a plank of wood; the beams, posts and white walls of Japanese architecture pressed, grid-like, against the picture plane; or the biomorphic flatness of fish displayed at market. More picturesquely, Weston will offer vistas of boats in Japan's harbors, lead us into a dark forest of bamboo, or dazzle us with a calligraphic display of ice on a rock wall. But the emphasis remains on the geometric patterns and almost palpable textures of weathered stone that almost dare the viewer to discern order in the confluence of the natural and the man-made.

Similarly, in the European portfolio, Weston evokes nothing less than Cezanne in his image of a rural Spanish village, its sooty, scarred roofs and walls filling the square frame in chockablock fashion, with no hint of earth or sky. Likewise, a study of gondolas in Venice emphasizes the graceful curving lines of the vessels, pressed together in port, with the merest reflection of twilight on the waters. As for Weston's European vistas, they isolate natural shapes--bare trees, reeds, benighted hills--often doubled in a watery mirror that assumes the bottom half of the frame. Starkest of all is a close up of a torn poster, glimpsed somewhere in Holland, a man's face barely discernable in the expressionistic rips of black and gray. But for sheer, high-contrast beauty, nothing matches the image, shot from a high vantage, of a Swiss farm, its roofing whitened by snow, with all else rendered night-black.

These portfolios offer further proof that Brett Weston had little difficulty in moving out from under the stylistic shadow of his more famous father. In the process, he advanced photographic modernism to a later, more cerebral stage.



Lodima Press, Revere, Pennsylvania. Hardbound, approximately 100 pages, with approximately 100 color and black-and-white plates. ISBN No. 978-1-888899-63-8. Information: http://www.lodimapress.com .

What might have been not much more than a gimmick--twinning Michael A. Smith's images of the Chicago Loop with his wife, Paula Chamlee's photos and collages inspired by Chicago's lakefront--turns out to be one of those rare collaborations that exceeds the sum of the parts. Each portfolio is inverted in relation to the other, so that "Loop" and "Lake" are bound together, yet remain individual volumes with their own covers. This sort of thing has been done before, but the potent dichotomy of Chicago's unique setting validates the approach, and both photographers acquit themselves extremely well in delivering on a challenging project.

Chamlee and Smith, who reside in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, are accomplished photo-documentarians of diverse locales, and Chicago's big-shouldered scale brings out the best in them. In taking on the man-made canyons of the Loop, Smith is treading ground rendered indelibly by the likes of Callahan, Abbott and other modernists who translated the sheer architectural information of the metropolis into coherent rhythms and moods. Smith's portfolio therefore rigorously avoids cliché or outright emulation by looking at Chicago's plethora of landmarks and towers from a consistent, panoramic perch, mid-height, avoiding overtly dramatic up or down views. Instead, he favors broad distillations of plane and perspective, as shadow plays across the honeycomb of windows and the infinite variety of glass, steel, concrete, and brick.

To anyone not familiar with Chicago, the results may seem anonymous, but Smith tends to locate architectural icons--the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower, actually), or the Tribune building, for example--in subtle relation to his massing of multiple structures. It can be a lot of fun to try and orient oneself from photo to photo.

Among the most evocative of Smith's images are the train yards and trestles, with their slashing horizontal rhythms, that remind us, inevitably, but not heavy-handedly, of Chicago's industrial heyday, of Upton Sinclair's stockyard expose, "The Jungle", and of Carl Sandburg's rhapsodic paean to the big town.

Paula Chamlee's "Lake" rhapsodizes more modestly and charmingly about Chicago. She offers some finely observed color and black-and-white images of the lakefront, with its piers and beaches, its borderings of urban lawn and sandy surf, its vegetation, and the residents and tourists who so easily enjoy their proximity to a calm yet oceanic Lake Michigan.

Chamlee's camera is drawn to the odd details--a dog's footprint in the sand, a littering of red berries and green leaves on the taupe beach--and she also includes her own winsome pencil sketches and collages built from found objects and wispy plant materials. Chamlee's mixed media thus affords some artful, small-scale relief from the monolithic empiricism of Smith's skyscraper views. Taken together, their Chicagos amount to a macro/micro study that connects us to the city on fresh terms, without lapsing into sentimentality.


Three more volumes (5, 6 and 7) have arrived from the ongoing series of Rijskmuseum Studies in Photography, a sequence of first-rate hardbound monographs made possible by the Manfred and Hanna Heiting Fund of the Amsterdam-based museum (for information on these books, etc., visit http://www.rijskmuseum.nl ). With its collection of some 140,000 photographs from the 19th to the 21st centuries, the Rijskmuseum is an important research laboratory, as it were, for studies of the medium, and these three latest volumes are a testament to its scholarly diversity.

Volume 5, "New Ways of Scientific Visualization: A.-L. Donnadieu's La photography des objets immerges" is Christina Natlacen's exploration of scientific photography through the lens of the French academician Adolphe-Louis Donnadieu (1840-1911), who published a book of photographs of anatomical preparations of animals submerged in water. Donnadieu and his "immersion" method of photography has largely been forgotten, but his careful stagings of such creatures as vipers, anteaters, cuttlefish and rabbits, their internal organs splayed and submerged, are uniquely fascinating--and powerful--gelatin silver prints. Natlacen's through study of Donnadieu's work places it in the larger context of scientific photography.

Then there is Volume 6, Tamara Berghmans' "The Making of a Photobook: Sanne Sannes' Maquette for Diary of an Erotomaniac," which re-introduces us to the obsessional, but never pornographic, eroticism of the Dutch photographer Sanne Sannes, who died in an auto accident in 1967. Sannes was only 30 at the time, and his work was ascendant--lustful, lurid, grainy, often playful and always expressive images of female nudes that captured the liberated spirit of the mid-1960s in one of Europe's most liberated societies. His unpublished "Diary" was on the verge of finding an American publisher when he was killed, and in this volume Tamara Berghmans reconstructs how Sannes' was shaping the book and looks at the international context of nude photography in the 1960s.

Finally, there is Volume 7, Petra Steinhardt's richly historical "Going into Detail: Photography and its use at the Drawing and Design Schools of Amsterdam 1880-1910." This book studies the photographs consulted by the students of Amsterdam's schools of art and design, with in-depth looks at the schools' syllabuses and library catalogues. The scholarly result helps determine how architectural photographers such as Alinari, Baldus, Mieusement, Chauffourier and others worked and how they influenced the education of younger generations of Dutch artists and designers.

Matt Damsker is an author and critic, who has written about photography and the arts for the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Philadelphia Bulletin, Rolling Stone magazine and other publications. His book, "Rock Voices", was published in 1981 by St. Martin's Press. His essay in the book, "Marcus Doyle: Night Vision" was published in the fall of 2005.

He currently reviews books for U.S.A. Today.

(Book publishers, authors and photography galleries/dealers may send review copies to us at: I Photo Central, 258 Inverness Circle, Chalfont, PA 18914. We do not guarantee that we will review all books or catalogues that we receive. Books must be aimed at photography collecting, not how-to books for photographers.)

Special Exhibits Go Up On I Photo Central

The photography dealers on I Photo Central have been extremely busy over the last few months, putting up even more new Special Photography Exhibits.

There are so many new ones that I will simply list them by title and URL address. Most also have extensive essays about the exhibit or artist that you can click through to read, and remember to click through to additional pages of images.

20th Century African American Prints

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/225/3/1 .

Blanc et Demilly: Modernists from Lyon

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/220/1/0 .

Eastern Ethnographic Wonders

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/227/3/1 .

Edward S. Curtis: Master Prints & Photogravures

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/222/21/1 .

Flowers: Photographing Beauty

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/223/1/0 .

Jacques-Henri Lartigue: A Parent's Love

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/221/1/0 .

New York City - Views through the 20th Century

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/226/3/1 .

The Commandment Keepers: African American Jewish Congregation in Harlem

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/228/3/1 .

Threads: Six Masters of Fashion Photography: Edward Steichen, Erwin Blumenfeld, Norman Parkinson, William Klein, Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/229/20/0 .

We have also continued to change images and add to our essays for all our Special Exhibits, so they are worth another peek, especially if you have not looked lately. And, if you see one you like, let a friend know too!

You can see all of these fine new exhibits and others (now a total of 147 Special Exhibits in all, including those in the archive!) at: http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase.php . Don't forget to check out the archived exhibits at the bottom of the page as well.